Madrid/Brussels, 29 April 2015 – To mark World Press Freedom Day (3 May 2015), Access Info Europe, the European Federations of Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists have called on the five Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression[1] to endorse the Ten Recommendations on Transparency of Media Ownership[2].

The recommendations, developed during three years of research by Access Info and the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, have already been endorsed by 78 civil society organisations, media outlets, and journalists.

The ten recommendations include:
1. Disclosure of essential basic information
2. Information is findable and free
3. Information is regularly updated
4. Data is reusable and in open formats
5. Progressive increase in transparency
6. Transparency of influence
7. Clear and precise legal framework
8. Oversight by an independent body
9. Direct disclosure to the public
10. Transnational access and comparability

Public availability of media ownership information helps to ensure that abuses of media power can be assessed, publicised, openly debated, and even prevented. Ensuring that such information is collected is also an essential part of government obligations to ensure a diverse and plural media environment, an obligation which stems from the right to freedom of expression and information.

In many countries, the legal framework already establishes obligations on government to collect information in order to ensure diversity and to guard against excessive concentration of ownership. What is being called for here is to ensure that such information is also made publicly available, on the understanding that such public availability of accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date data on media ownership is an essential component of a democratic media system.

Access Info Europe continues to call for civil society and media organisations to endorse the Ten Recommendations for Transparency of Media Ownership in a first step to demand governments for stronger legislation on this issue. If you want to endorse this campaign click here.

For more information, please contact:
Victoria Anderica | Access Info Europe
victoria@access-info.org +34 606592976

Note for editors:
[1] The five Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression:
• Pansy Tlakula, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right
• Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organisation of American States
• Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media,
• David Kaye, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
• Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
[2] For more information please check the Transparency of Media Ownership web campaign: http://www.access-info.org/media-ownership-transparency